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Work experience with a difference at Tocal

Work-experience-with-a-differenceSeven students from three local high schools spent a week at Tocal preparing steers to go out to local high schools as the Tocal School Steers Challenge kicks off for 2014. In the competition each of 12 local schools take a 9 month old steer back to their Agricultural plot where they feed it and teach it to lead.

After three months they bring it back to Tocal to compete with all the other schools in a day of cattle judging and handling. The winners receive numerous ribbons and a perpetual trophy for the winning school. We are expecting approximately 200 students at this year's live show day at Tocal in September. The trophy currently sits at St Joseph's Lochinvar who were last year's winners. Students and steers then go on to compete in other shows in the area.

The competition started on the 28th May when steers where picked up from Tocal. High Schools in the competition this year are Rutherford, Cessnock, Mount View, St Catherine's Singleton, Singleton High, Dungog, Bulahdelah, Hunter River, Morisset, Wadalba, Tuggerah Lakes, Kincumber and Hunter River. The aim of the program is to get students interested in agriculture.

Many students are interested in animals and this program gives them the opportunity to further this interest and explore possible careers in this area. One present Tocal Student, Rhett Sorenson from Rutherford Technology High enrolled in Certificate III Agriculture as a result of participating in the program in 2013.

In the three years Tocal has been running this competition a total of 19 students from these participating schools have enrolled in Agricultural courses at Tocal to pursue a career in agriculture.

The competition is fully sponsored by Coal & Allied and Castlereagh Feeds (Sydney). Tocal and the schools would like to thank them for their generous support.